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35 of The Very Best Lunch Boxes to Keep Food Warm 

When you’re packing a hot lunch, you don’t want to eat room temperature food during your lunch break! Is there anything worse? So whether you’ve looking for an electric lunch box, an insulated lunch bag or a stainless steel container or thermos container, we have you covered!

Packaged hot lunches in tin foil containers

Are you tired of your lunch getting cold by the time you sit down to enjoy it? Say goodbye to lukewarm meals and hello to piping hot lunches with our handpicked selection of the very best lunch boxes to keep your food warm.

Whether you’re heading to work, school, or on a day trip, these lunch boxes are designed to maintain the temperature of your meals, ensuring a delicious and satisfying lunchtime experience.

From sleek and stylish insulated containers to innovative thermal lunch bags, we’ve rounded up 35 top-notch options that will keep your food hot and your taste buds delighted.

Say farewell to cold leftovers and get ready for a warm and delightful lunchtime feast!

Jump to:

Why Pack Hot Food for lunch?

Packing a hot lunch can offer several benefits. Here are a few:

Enjoyment of Fresh and Warm Meals

 A hot lunch allows you to savor the flavors of your favorite dishes just as they were intended. The warmth enhances the taste and texture, making each bite more enjoyable.

Nutritional Value

Certain foods, such as soups, stews, and casseroles, retain their nutritional value better when consumed hot. Heat-sensitive vitamins and minerals are preserved, ensuring that you reap the maximum benefits from your meal.

Comfort and Satisfaction

A warm lunch can provide a sense of comfort, especially during colder months or when you’re feeling under the weather. It can be a source of solace and nourishment, bringing you comfort and satisfaction throughout the day. And, let’s face it. If you’re a student, those school lunches might not be all that tasty…

Time-Saving

Packing a hot lunch allows you to skip the line at a restaurant or avoid reheating options, saving you valuable time during your lunch break. You can simply enjoy your pre-prepared meal without the need for additional preparation.

Cost-Effective

Bringing a hot lunch from home can be more cost-effective than purchasing food from restaurants or cafeterias. It it’s a great way to control portion sizes, choose healthier ingredients, and avoid the temptation of impulse purchases.

Dietary Restrictions and Preferences

Packing a hot lunch ensures that you have full control over the ingredients used, catering to specific dietary restrictions or preferences you may have. It allows you to customize your meals according to your needs, ensuring a satisfying and nourishing lunchtime experience.

Steamy soup

What should you look for in an insulated bag?

When searching for an insulated lunch box, there are several key factors to consider. Here are some important things to look for:

Insulation Performance

The primary purpose of an insulated lunch box is to keep your food at the desired temperature. Look for lunch boxes with excellent insulation capabilities that can effectively maintain hot or cold temperatures for extended periods.

Pay attention to the insulation materials used and check for features like double-walled construction or high-quality thermal insulation.

Size and Capacity

Consider your portion sizes and the amount of food you typically carry. Choose a lunch box that offers sufficient capacity to accommodate your meals and snacks without being too bulky.

It should have enough compartments or space to organize different food items, such as main courses, sides, and beverages.

Durability and Construction

Opt for a lunch box that is sturdy and well-built, capable of withstanding regular use and potential impacts. Look for high-quality materials like heavy-duty fabrics, reinforced stitching, or hard plastic exteriors.

A reliable lunch box should be able to withstand the rigors of daily commuting or being tossed into a backpack or bag.

Easy to Clean

It’s important to have a lunch box that is easy to clean to maintain hygiene. Look for options that have removable and washable linings or compartments.

Ideally, the lunch box should be easy cleaning – simple to wipe down or toss in the dishwasher, ensuring that you can keep it clean and free from lingering odors.

Leak-Proof and Spill-Proof Features

To avoid any messes or leaks inside your bag, choose a lunch box that has leak-proof or spill-proof compartments. Look for tight seals, secure lids, or separate containers with reliable closures.

This will help prevent food from leaking or mixing together and ensure your bag or backpack stays clean and dry.

Portability and Convenience

Consider the ease of carrying and transporting the lunch box. Look for features such as comfortable handles, adjustable shoulder straps, or even backpack-style options for hands-free carrying.

Additionally, check for additional pockets or compartments that can hold utensils, napkins, or condiments for added convenience.

Style and Personal Preference

While functionality is crucial, you may also want to consider the aesthetics and personal style of the lunch box.

Choose a design, color, or pattern that appeals to you, as it can enhance your overall lunchtime experience and make you more excited to use it.

By considering insulation performance, size, durability, ease of cleaning, leak-proof features, portability, and personal preferences, you can find an insulated lunch box that meets your specific needs and ensures your meals are kept fresh and at the desired temperature.

Our Top 4 Insulated Lunch Bags

When it comes to the best insulated lunch boxes, these are four of our top picks in all different sizes. 

Black insulated lunch box with gold zippers

#1 Lily Bell Insulated Bag

What you should know:

  • Food-grade PU leather
  • No one will ever believe this is your lunch box
  • Outside zipper pockets with large insulated main compartment
  • Top handles or removable, adjustable shoulder strap.
  • This is a clear top performer
Blue and white insulated lunch box

#2 Foundry by Fit + Fresh Cooler Bag

What you should know:

  • Thermal insulation
  • Removable divider for main compartment
  • Zipper closure
  • Short or long handles
  • Four outer pockets for bottles, etc.
  • Several colors to choose from
Faux snakeskin insulated lunch box

#3 JOYHILL Insulated Lunch Bag

What you should know:

  • Very stylish medium/small size lunch bag
  • Front pocket for keys/phone
  • Insulated with aluminum foil
  • Top handles
Floral basic insulated lunch box

#4 FlowFly Insulated Reusable Lunch Bag

What you should know:

  • Large insulated lunch box / cooler
  • Size mesh pockets for water bottles
  • Top handle or removable shoulder strap
  • Front zipper pocket for phone / keys / wallet.
  • Would also work great as a picnic bag
  • If you’re always worried that you didn’t pack enough food, this might be your best option.

​The Rest of the Best (Numbers 5 – 15)

In no particular order, here are the rest of our favorite insluated lunch bags that will keep your hot food hot and your cold food cold for a long time. 

Dark blue and turquoise insulated lunch box

Igloo Eco-Friendly Insulated Reusable Puffer Soft Sided Bags

What you should know:

  • Small insulated lunch bag with several cute colors to choose from.
Floral patterned insulated lunch box

VLM Lunch Bags for Women

What you should know:

  • Large
  • Multiple colors / patterns to choose from
  • Top handle or removable shoulder strap
  • Insulated with aluminum foil lining
  • Side mesh pockets for water bottle
  • Zipped pocket on lid can hold ice packs
Red and white stripe insulated lunch box

Joymee Lunch Bag

What you should know:

  • Large capacity
  • Insulated with aluminum foil lining
  • Top handles
  • Two side pockets for water bottles
Paper-looking Tyvek insulated lunch box that says Hangry

VonNova Tyvek Aesthetic Insulated Lunch Bag

What you should know:

  • Large tyvek insulated lunch bag with interior pocket.
  • Several designs to choose from.
Green insulated lunch box with black straps

Gorilla Grip Large Insulated Lunch Box

What you should know:

  • Large insulated lunch box / cooler
  • Two side mesh pockets for water bottles
  • Interior pocket for ice packs
  • Front zipper pouch for cell phone / keys / wallet.
Blue basic insulated lunch box

Mziart Insulated Lunch Bag

What you should know:

  • Cute, basic insulated lunch box
  • Simple design
  • Aluminum foil lining
  • Multiple colors to choose from
  • Back button snap pocket.
  • Top handles
Purple insulated lunch box that looks like a tiny backpack

JanSport Big Break Insulated Lunch Bag

What you should know:

  • Small lunch bag with front zipper pouch.
  • Top handles only.
Rectangular insulated lunch box with black straps

SUNNY BIRD Insulated Lunch Bag

What you should know:

  • Traditional lunch box with removable shoulder strap.
  • Side mesh pockets are not large enough for water bottles.
  • Insulated main compartment.
Red and green insulated lunch box with roll-top and tie-looking patterned straps

SUNNY BIRD Insulated Lunch Bag Rolltop 

What you should know:

  • Insulated roll-top lunch box with optional removable shoulder strap
  • Multiple colors / designs to choose from
Grey and white insulated lunch box

Lekesky Lunch Bag for Women

What you should know:

  • Purse-like lunch box with multiple colors/designs to choose from
  • Outer pockets for phone/wallet/keys
  • Large interior insulated compartment
  • Top handles
Black and cream basic insulated lunch box with 26 other patterns shown

iknoe Insulated Lunch Bag for Women

What you should know:

  • Super cute basic insulated lunch box with multiple patterns to choose from.
  • If you’re still in the school years, this might be a good idea. It’s small enough to fit in a backpack, and with so many colors and patterns, there’s sure to be one for everyone.
Leopard print insulated lunch box

BALORAY Lunch Bag

What you should know:

  • Larger capacity lunch box with two separate insulated compartments. 
  • The top is best for hot or room temperature foods, and the bottom has cold compartments
  • Top handle or removable shoulder strap.
Creamy white insulated lunch box

NisuAM Lunch Bag

What you should know:

  • This lunch box looks like an expensive purse. 
  • Large insulated primary compartment with zipper compartment on the outside front for small items and two mesh side pockets that will fit a water bottle!
Cream insulated lunch box that says LUNCH

LUCKIPLUS Lunch Bag

What you should know:

  • Fun insulated lunch box with a removable shoulder strap.
Brown and cream polka dot insulated lunch box

MILLSAWAY Lunch Bag

What you should know:

  • Darling polka dotted lunch box with removable shoulder strap. 
  • The interior of the lunch bag is made of a high grade PEVA film and thermal insulation layer.

Thinking about an Electric Lunch Box? Our Top electric lunch boxes

If you prefer warm food for lunch, and you have easy access to a wall outlet or power source in the car, a portable food warmer can be a game changer. See our top four picks here, and then click through for our top 20 favorites.

Electric lunch box with spaghetti in stainless steel tray and fruit in removable fruit tray

#1 – WisaKey Electric Lunch Box Food Heater

What you should know:

  • 1.8 liter capacity
  • 25 – 45 minutes to heat food
  • Separate food grade PP plastic layer for cold food (this must be removed before using the heating element)
  • Fork and spoon included
  • Insulated carrying case included
  • Car adapter included
  • Three colors to choose from
  • Removable stainless steel container
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Leak proof
Green crockpot electric lunch box.

#2 – Crockpot Electric Lunch Box, Portable Food Warmer

What you should know:

  • 20 ounce size (approximately .5 liters) The smallest electric lunch box on our list.
  • 45-65 minutes to heat food
  • Does not have a separate plastic compartment for cold food
  • Has a heating base that is attached along with a heat-resistant handle
  • Fork and spoon NOT included
  • Insulated carrying case NOT included
  • Car adapter NOT included
  • Multiple colors to choose from
  • Removable stainless steel container
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Leak proof
  • Cord is attached and has a slot on the bottom for storage. This can be a nice feature because you don’t risk losing your cord.
Triple decker electric lunch box and rice cooker.

#3 – CTSZOOM Self Cooking Electric Lunch Box

This is the largest one on our list with three separate food compartments AND the option to cook rice.

What you should know:

  • 30-35 minutes to heat food
  • Three separate layers for cooking. The top layer has a divided stainless steel tray and the bottom two layers have one large stainless steel tray. BOTH trays have a food grade PP plastic lid (which needs to be removed before heating). The bottom layer can be used for cooking rice.
  • Fork and spoon NOT included
  • Insulated carrying case NOT included
  • Car adapter NOT included
  • Removable stainless steel containers
  • Dishwasher safe
Blue insulated portable microwave. Forabest

#4 – FORABEST Portable Microwave Food Warmer

Technically, this sucker considers itself more a microwave oven or a “Portable Food Warmer Lunch Box” than an electric lunch box. But its flexibility earns it a top spot on our list!

What you should know:

  • You can heat meals in 35-45 minutes or COOK meals in two hours.
  • You provide the container for cooking. This can be a glass dish, ceramic, cardboard, tupperware or disposable aluminum pan. The dimensions are 10 inches by 7 inches.
  • Fork and spoon included
  • Insulated carrying case included
  • Car adapter included

See all of 20 of our Top Electric Lunch Boxes here ->

Our Favorite Stainless Steel Lunch Containers

Stainless Steel containers are a great insulated food container. They’re a good choice for packing your fresh food. If you’re looking for stainless steel lunch boxes, here are some of our favorites.

Set of three stacking stainless steel round food containers with an insulated carrying case

Lille Home Stackable Stainless Steel Thermal Compartment Lunch/Snack Box

What you should know:

  • This stacking stainless steel thermos has three separate containers (two 10-ounce containers and one 20-ounce container). 
  • It’s leak proof and designed to keep food hot or cold.
  • It comes with an insulated carrying case and utensil set. 
  • And it’s dishwasher safe!
Set of 3 insulated stainless steel food containers in pink.

Slaipo Bento Box Adult Lunch Box

What you should know:

  • This 3-compartment stacking lunch box has three separate stainless steel containers with silicone lids that can be stacked together. 
  • Take one, two or all three. 
  • Designed to keep food hot or cold. 
  • Dishwasher safe and also includes an insulated carrying case and utensil set. 
8 stainless steel containers for dressings with multi-colored silicone lids

Hydream 8 Pack Salad Dressing Containers

What you should know:

  • Eight stainless steel containers with locking lids. 
  • They’re leak proof and hold 2.4 ounces each. 
  • Perfect for sauces, dressings or sweet treats. 
  • Dishwasher safe!
Stainless steel snack containers with silicone lids

Tanjiae Stainless Steel Snack Containers

What you should know:

  • These 8-ounce (one-cup) stainless steel containers with silicone lids are designed to keep food warm or cold. 
  • They’re a great way to pack your lunch and snacks for the day. 
  • Dishwasher safe.

Our Favorite Thermos Containers

Sometimes you just need an insulated food jar with an airtight lid! And we have you covered – here are our top 8 picks:

DaCool pink thermos

DaCool Food Thermos

What you should know:

  • 16 ounces
  • Keeps food hot or cold
  • Easy open
  • Foldable spoon included
  • BPA free
  • Three colors to choose from
Blue thermos with handle

USEEM 17 Ounce Vacuum Insulated Food Jar

What you should know:

  • 17 ounces
  • Stainless steel
  • Lid doubles as a bowl
  • Folding spoon
  • Works for hot or cold food
Green thermos that says FOOD

Design Letters Insulated Food Bowl

What you should know:

  • 18 ounces
  • Stainless steel with leak-proof lid
  • Utensil included
  • Easy to clean
  • Works with hot and cold foods.
  • Multiple colors/lettering options.
White stanley cup with lid

Stanley Adventure To Go Insulated Food Jar

What you should know:

  • 12 ounces
  • Stainless steel
  • Leakproof
  • Multiple colors
  • Keeps food hot or cold
Soup bowl with lid

MAISON HUIS 8oz Soup Thermos

What you should know:

  • 8 ounce
  • Leak-proof lid
  • Works for hot and cold foods
  • Leak proof
  • Multiple colors
Green thermos with wood lid

YIUNEPA Thermos Food Jar

What you should know:

  • 13.5 ounces
  • Works for hot or cold foods
  • Spoon included
  • Two color options
Green thermos with black lid

Goodful Vacuum Sealed Insulated Food Jar with Handle 

What you should know:

  • 16 ounces
  • Leak proof
  • Works for hot or cold foods
  • Multiple colors
Pink thermos with a spoon

ENERGIFY Vacuum Insulated Food Jar

What you should know:

  • 17 ounces
  • Foldable spoon included
  • Easy to open
  • Includes carrying case
  • Multiple colors

OUR FAVORITE LUNCH BOX ACCESSORIES

When it comes to packing lunches, these are the best products to make the job easier!

Four sets of wheat utensils in muted colors

Reusable Travel Utensils with Case

  • Four sets of travel silverware with carrying cases.
  • Each set containers a fork, spoon, knife and chopsticks.
  • The silverware is made of natural wheat straw PP – it’s healthy, non-toxic and reusable.
  • These are NOT dishwasher safe.
brightly colored silicone baking cups

IPOW 24 Pack Silicone Cupcake Baking Cups

  • This set of 24 silicone baking cups are exactly what you didn’t know you need for your packed lunch.
  • If you’re using a bento box or a stainless steel container for food storage, these make the perfect food compartments for you.
  • They’re dishwasher safe and oven safe.
Travel plastic salt and pepper shakers with silicone lids

Sophico Small Salt and Pepper Shakers

  • Made of BPA-free, food grade plastic and silicone lids, these portable salt and pepper shakers are the perfect addition to your lunch.
  • Dishwasher safe.
Set of reusable silicone snack bags

Reusable Storage Bags

  • Like the flexibility of packing your lunch in baggies, but hate the waste?
  • You’ll love these leak proof food-grade PEVA reusable bags.
  • They’re dishwasher and freezer safe.
  • Set of 10.

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